ONLY Oliver’s strong arms from sleeveless vest were visible and he was glancing out of window of his high-rise apartment.
Wings tattoos on his neck and shoulders were not visible. The rain had poured for the last three days. For first two days it was torrential.
Today its continuity was calmy timid, its aggressiveness had dissipated since morning. Oliver was expecting the arrival of Ella. Today he was off from work.
In her office Ella was packing her bag hurriedly. Her concentration was shaky. She packed her small wallet in the bag but twice checked. She leapt towards the exit. She got lift that was empty and going down.
Her office was on the Christ Road. She was not far away from the residence of Oliver, her ever first sugar daddy.
Oliver was a newly rich man of fifty years. He was twice married, but single. He owned three casinos in the sprawling city.
Oliver was boxer thirty years ago. He struggled to start his own business over years. He liked to be called a rich man.
His fortune qualified him a by choice sugar daddy.
He admired Ella’s hard work at office and nonchalantly encouraged her to outshine. On each visit he was paying to Ella. Oliver never bargained.
Ella never counted when piking cash from her thick wallet. She extracted notes as much as she liked. The malodorous wallet was not small but it always placed over living room’s table.
Oliver had not changed the wallet. It was same old loose one he had purchased it when he was boxer outside the casino he purchased later. Money inside mattered most. Spoiled skin was immaterial to him. Currency notes were always stuffed uncounted.
It looked Oliver never counted them. To him Ella’s skin mattered most. The smell and creased skin of wallet was not an issue to him.
Whenever city witnessed rain, the feel in Ella spined somewhat strange. She inhaled rain’s fragrance profusely. Petrichor blended with the body aroma of Oliver and touched her senses gradually.
The feel compelled her to meet Oliver. The feel was deep and irrepressible. She did not settle till the meeting was over.
The duration never bothered both. Face to face meet was imminent. Today Ella was enamoured again and empowered by the desire of meeting.
She had to visit him before the complete stoppage of the rain. When the rain stopped, there was no petrichor, there was no body aroma of the Oliver. There was no sensation, there was no follow up.
The moment rain disappeared, it had evaporated the desire, infatuation and the closeness. Consequently, and naturally, there was no desire to meet Oliver.
It was a routine, she extracted money she wanted from the hanging wallet of Oliver. She piled money after every visit at her apartment. So far in ten visits, she had kept $ 66000.
She plucked whatever was available in the wallet of Oliver. Mostly the hanging wallet was empty, Ella left any currency inside. Exhausted Oliver did not bother to check what was left. Money had no issue for him. His relationship with Ella was satisfying and enriching.
Ella stepped out of the train at Marcopolo station. Shestopped at the Marcopolo café facing the station. She sipped down a cup of late. Scent of the sugar daddy was ensnaring her; rain was usual. Here she inhaled vast volumes of petrichor continuously. Petrichor triggered the scent. Ella was swirled by the sole thought when she was over with coffee.
She picked up her bag and immersed into the controversy. Whether Oliver sniffed any aroma or only me. Traffic would not to run one way if he sensed nothing in me.
I will have to reverse rather forsake the bond. “Let’s see what happens once we meet shortly”.
She concluded the monologue. Only after forty minutes she was moving again towards the same railway station. Train had already in wait. She jumped on and took her seat.
After seven minutes of the ride, she stood up. Decisive thoughts settled in hermind.“Today it will be settled. I am stupidenough. why I never thought in past, at least in the beginning.
I never asked my scent attracts him or he feels any scent in me. This did not come into my mind earlier but why” She continued to teachherself.
Oliver was on couch, chewing Brazil nuts. Two tattoos were new on his neck and left shoulder. The door of his apartment was open already. Ella entered without a knock.
Oliver stood up and shacked his hand with her’s. Your hands are getting tender day by day and you know to maintain yourself. Oliver said smilingly, energetic he was since morning. “You feel the delicacy of my skin and there is another fragility I am more interested in.
Oliver when rain pours do you feel petrichor blending my body fragrance and it’s reaching you where you are? It’s not bound time and space, day and night. You in sleep or awake. But do you feel”? Ella asked Oliver emphatically.
Ella was forceful and categorical. “Tell me frankly Oliver. Today you have to speak only the truth”. Oliver was going to kitchen to cook something.
Ella plucked his arm and asked him to sit and explain. Why are you asking by the way? Oliver enquired with little hesitation.
When he spoke, his tone was low but audible to Ella. In his tone there was a visible stammer. Do you really want to know? Oliver looked focused.
Yes, Indeed and that’s the reason I am here today. Ella explained him explicitly with a strong eye contact.
I can see your eyes have grown black circles and they are deepening; I can see some wrinkles getting obvious. Well, I only see the odor and when you in sweat to be frankly.
Oliver said casually and he kept on grinding peanuts. Oliver, said Ella. “That I wanted to know. Thanking you for the clarification”. Ella picked her bag to move out of her apartment.
Are you going? Yes obviously. You can collect as much as money you want but don’t spoil our weekend. It’s your joy time not mine. For me it is truly decisive. Oliver. I am announcing. We will not meet again.
Ok? And yes, you will get back your money”. You have lost not a penny. I have not spent a single note. Well, Oliver murmured but Elle had left her apartment. Ella had closed this chapter.
She had deleted Oliver from her memory with double click. You cannot make your available only to satisfy someone’s animal instincts. She was persistently reminding her. She had an easy walk now.
She had no guilt; she had cleaned her mind on Oliver. Though she left Oliver in jumbled up mood but she went out with a clear head.
It was rain outside. She was walking towards railway station. Ella was again inhaling petrichor. Petrichor was clean and unadulterated. It was minus Oliver’s whiff.
It had no mix of Oliver’s body smell now. Ella reached after two hours at her home. In the middle, she had a coffee at Carl Café. This time she ordered Icelandic pancake with coffee.
She got a single seat table. She read some articles from a magazine. She had a deep concentration; she conceptualized the detailed piece of writing on urbanization.
She felt she had memorized the breezy write up. Ella reached at her home; she opened the drawer of her study; she put all cash into her bag. She zipped bag carefully. It was total amount she had been receiving from Oliver.
Next morning it was off from office. Ella went to the bank. She deposited all money she had got from Oliver. When the amount signalled credited in her account. She stood up, pressed keys of the machine.
The whole amount had transferred to Oliver instantly. She received text on her cell on the completion of the transaction.
She saw the text of earlier deposit with dozens of missed calls and texts from Oliver. She did not read at all and deleted texts, his name from the contacts.
When you did not notice my fragrance, I did not see you either exists or not. She consoled herself. On the gate she walked to find a bus.
There was rain outside and it had started few minutes ago. She called dear petrichor, how sincere you were. You entertained me unconditionally. You were a great treat.
I will never miss you. You never missed me and I am assured of your lasting beautiful company.
How beautiful the life was? She stepped into bus and looked outside the window. World was picturesque outside; it was cared for inside.
She kept on advising her. She was building her winning opinion. She was free but not loser.
She had conquered her emotions with resilience, already the world had been swayed. On Oliver side, he had filled his wallet with more currency.
Oliver was charged to looking forward the least conditional, the hardly mindfully conscious and the tiniest discordant.
—The writer is an alumnus of Potsdam Centre for Public Management Germany and of Geneva Centre for Security Policy Switzerland.